Seeing Yourself By Honoring Others

On Friday I met with graphic designer, Aaron Draplin, in his fifth floor industrial loft to discuss the need to develop a kick ass Bonehook logo and identity package. It was a great meeting, the kind you walk away from excited to actually do all the things being discussed.

One thing Draplin asked me to do was create a design brief for him, and to list five people or companies that inspire me. It was a great exercise to write the brief and explore the core essence of this brand and what our mission as a company truly is. It’s a DNA test and one that every company needs to undertake. I’d also suggest taking the time to list five people or companies that inspire you.

Here’s what I put down:

  • Yvon Chouinard, CEO of Patagonia and author of Let My People Go Surfing
  • Lee Clow, Worldwide Creative Director, TBWA\Chiat\Day and long time lead on the agency’s Apple account
  • Hotel San Jose in Austin, TX (the definition of down home chic)
  • Rick Rubin, legendary record producer–take a listen to the new Avett Brothers record for proof of the man’s enduring genius
  • Interface founder and Chairman Ray Anderson for committing to a new and fully sustainable business model and making it happen in a big way for his company

It’s a short list, but that’s good because it forces you to focus on the things that matter most. For instance, in my five examples I see a deep commitment to sustainability. There’s also tenacious drive, a calm confidence and the creative spirit it takes to make something original.

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